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Pneumococcal disease drop

Giving pneumococcal vaccination to all patients over the age of 65 has significantly cut rates of invasive pneumococcal disease, new research reports.

The study in Scotland, where it was introduced for over-65s in 2003/4, ahead of England and Wales, estimated it was 65 per cent effective in the age group.

Rates of invasive pneumococcal disease fell 'highly significantly' in both men and women over the age of 75, and fell significantly in women but not men in those aged 65-74.

Study leader John Mooney, a researcher at Health Protection Scotland, said: 'Preliminary estimates of vaccine effectiveness for the 65-plus age group should be encouraging to implementers in England and Wales as their equivalent programme is rolled out to include this age group.'

The research was presented at the 12th international congress on infectious diseases in Lisbon, Portugal.

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